Virginia Governor Exit Interview - 5:51
with Gov. Terry McAuliffe
Posted Dec 22, 2017
"Virginia's unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest of any major state today and the lowest it's ever been in nearly a decade.  And while the work underway is continuous, Virginia is transforming, due to efforts in making it more open and welcoming to diversity. Outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia discusses how reinstating voting rights for former inmates and economic development efforts have positively impacted the state. Interview recorded November 30, 2017. Hosted by Robert Traynham. Read a partial transcript of this interview below: Traynham:  Virginia´s unemployment rate is the lowest in nearly a decade, now down to 3.6%. Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I´m Robert Traynham. With me is Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, who has the honor of being one of 2017 Governing magazine Public Officials of the Year. Governor, thank you very much for joining us. McAuliffe:  Great to be with you. Traynham:  And let me start off by saying congratulations. Many, many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, unfortunately. Many Americans are feeling squeezed. They feel like they´re working more but they´re bringing home less. And so, as I mentioned a few moments ago, with the unemployment rate being so low, that is a good thing. Why McAuliffe:  Because people are back to work. When I took office, unemployment was 5.4%. Virginia -- very unique. We´re the largest military recipient because of the largest naval base in the world, the Pentagon. 27 military installations. Sequestration hurt Virginia badly back in 2011 through ´13. When I ran for governor, I said, "We´re gonna diversify the economy." We are now the leaders in America -- cybersecurity, data -- data analytics, Unmanned systems. We have diversified our economy so much and created so many new jobs and economic investment that we are now structurally full employment. My challenge now as governor... is filling all these high-paying jobs that have opened today in Virginia. That´s why I put a billion dollars into K through 12, the largest investment in Virginia history. To build that workforce, great education system. If you want a job in Virginia, we got a high-paying job for you. Traynham:   Let me second this interview by saying, what are you the most proudest of I mean, what do you think is your biggest sense of accomp-- And the reason why I say this is because, for those of you who are watching at home or perhaps maybe on your smart device, you may not know that Governor Terry McAuliffe is in the last final weeks, last month or so, of your administration. When you turn off the lights, what are you the most proudest of McAuliffe:   I think building the new economy, diversifying the economy -- also, holding the record as the most vetoes of any governor in Virginia history. I vetoed very horrible anti-social, very divisive, anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-environment, and I was never overridden once. Virginia now is open and welcoming to everybody. We have lots of jobs. But my proudest moment will probably be -- I restored the rights of over 170,000 Virginians, felons. In 40 states, it was automatic. Virginia was not. And we had so many people who were disenfranchised. I have now brought them back in and treated them like first-class citizens instead of second-class citizens. And it´s heartwarming to see these individuals who, last election, said, "I voted for the first time in 60 years." Publics officials -- your job is to create economic activity and to help people. And that´s what I´m most proud of. Traynham:   Why do you think it took this long, Governor In other words, for your predecessors not to do what you just did with respect to the voting rights for... McAuliffe:   Well, I did it through executive authority, ´cause they would never do it legislatively. They sued me, the Republicans. Took me to the Supreme Court in Virginia. I lost the first round. They said I didn´t have the authority, even though I clearly did. And then the Supreme Court finally sided with me. I think other people didn´t do it because it was gonna be a hard thing to do. You were going to get sued. But leadership is about leaning in on the things that you believe in, fighting for what your values are. You´re not always gonna win, but you got to be in that arena fighting, and it was worth the fight. "
Hosted by: Robert Traynham Produced by: Beltway Newsmakers Team

Other videos hosted By Robert Traynham

Overburdened Renters

"Twenty-five million Americans pay more than half of their income to rent. A discussion with Ali Solis of Make Room on efforts to give a voice to America's working poor and work toward a collective solution to help our economy thrive. Interview recorded September 6, 2017.  Hosted by Robert Traynham. Read a partial transcript of this interview below: Traynham:   11.4 million households in America spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities. And as the nation's population continues to grow, so will the number of overburdened renters. Hello, everyone and welcome to ""Comcast Newsmakers."" I'm Robert Traynham. Joining me is Ali Solis, president and CEO of Make Room. Ali, welcome to the program. It's always good to see you. Let me start off by stating the obvious -- More and more Americans feel squeezed. They're working harder for less, in terms of what they bring home. As I mentioned a few moments ago, a lot of people -- too many people -- are spending half -- half of their income on utilities and rent. How can this be Solis: That's right. This is a growing crisis in America, where we have 25 million Americans, eight million children, two million seniors impacted by this crisis. And they are, you know, paying, as you mentioned, more than half of their income to rent. And this is a problem that's growing. By 2025, we expect that we'll have 15 million households. Traynham: 15 million Solis: 15 million households, and that's assuming that we can keep pace with rising rents and address -- Traynham: Utilities. Solis: Exactly -- rising rents and utilities. Traynham: So, here is the magic question. How can we -- How do we address this So we know what the problem is. And what's interesting about this dilemma, I find, is that it's not that people are not working. They're working. They're contributing to society. But if they can't keep ends -- They can't make ends meet, what's the solution Solis: Yeah. Most of these families are working, often, two and three jobs just to make rent affordable. And the problem is not just one that we're seeing in big urban centers, like San Francisco or New York, but it's affecting small towns, small communities. I was just in Erie, Pennsylvania, a place where people wouldn't think that there was an affordable rental crisis, or Detroit, Michigan. So this is a challenge that's impacting communities big and small. Traynham: You know, Ali, I want to hit pause there for a second, 'cause I think this is really important to stress what you just said. This is not just a New York, San Francisco, Miami, you know, major metropolitan city issue. To your point, Erie, Pennsylvania, some of the rural areas in this country are also being affected by this. Solis: That's correct. Traynham: So let's talk a little bit about Make Room, specifically what do you do, and how can you help address this problem Solis: So, Make Room is a national organization whose purpose is to un-hide this human suffering that's happening behind closed doors for all of these millions of Americans. We're trying to give voice to a population that isn't necessarily well represented. They are the working poor in America. And so we are sharing their stories, and we are asking overburdened renters all across the country to join us through our digital platform to be able to have regular conversations with their policymakers at the local and federal levels. Traynham: So, you mentioned sharing stories, and for the folks that are watching this at home, or, perhaps, maybe, on their smart device, if you have a story that you would like to share, Ali, how can they do that Solis: Well, we'd encourage you to go to and share your story. We provide incentives. We also provide information so that you can meet neighbors in other communities that are struggling with similar stories. And we also have policymakers engaged through the platform, as well, because it's important for them to understand what's happening in these communities.  "
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